I had a plan put together for Saturday night in which Ryan would act as discrete disposal for various drinks which would inevitably be sent my way. It didn’t really work out, but luckily my friends had cooked up other schemes which overrode their desire to get me sloppy drunk. Now I have figured out the secret: If you are chatting up a pretty lady, nobody will try to make you do shots.

Moving on.

I haven’t had as much time with Borderlands 2 as I would like, partly because having my best buddy visiting from out of town raises other priorities. I’m not the biggest proponent of sight-seeing, but I feel when a man travels 3000 miles, he should see more than the TV in my living room. We did play some Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game, and found out that levels gained on the system by a guest second player are not saved. With the game being already very difficult, we quit all attempts to complete it in frustration.

**Update**

Thanks Phil for the info on creating additional profiles to save character upgrade data for Scott Pilgrim. That will be very helpful in the future.

I have a set list of locations that I take people to when they come to visit Los Angeles. It always starts with a variety of my favorite restaurants, but there are a few more touristy spots that are also very nice. My absolute favorite is the Griffith Observatory, because you can see a kick-ass sunset, look out over the entire city, and check out a Tesla Coil among other neat science exhibits all for the low price of free. Parking there was really difficult this time, and we had to walk more than half a mile, but I think my compatriots would agree that it was worth it.

The latest place I have added to my list is the Santa Monica Pier. The fact that it’s connected to the Venice and Santa Monica boardwalks and beaches is probably the main appeal. We found street parking by Venice and walked up, but I bet it wouldn’t be too hard to find something closer. The shops and denizens of Venice are a bit odd, but interesting to see anyway. There were some fricking weird people is what I’m trying to say. Santa Monica is a bit nicer in comparison.

The pier has a theme park on it, with a roller coaster probably designed for 10 year-old children that we had no interest in trying. The Ferris Wheel looks decent enough, but during the day the sun would bake and blind riders at the same time. The most interesting attraction we noticed was the arcade.

You lost faith that I would bring it back around to video games didn’t you?

I would say, without hesitation, that the Santa Monica Pier’s arcade beats every Dave and Buster, and every look alike. Those in-bar arcades all focus entirely on redemption games and money pit shooters. The arcade at the pier certainly has those traps, but it also has the arcade basics that have seemingly disappeared from most places. It has a decent variety of pinball games, several air hockey tables, Foosball tables, a few different fighting games, and enough classic arcade games to satisfy.

The fighting games include Marvel vs Capcom, Street Fighter Alpha, and Mortal Kombat. Pac Man is present in 3 different iterations. Galaga is there. Even Super Mario Bros, which is way more difficult with a joystick, is present. They round out the team with a pair of Zoltar machines, in case you weren’t feeling the 80s nostalgia enough. The machines are also in fairly decent repair. I imagine that is partly due to the high profile location.

Perhaps the most important aspect of the arcade is its lack of specialized currency, like tokens or card swipes. Every machine takes the good old quarter. If you don’t plan on coming back for a while, you won’t have to gauge how much money you will spend on games, lest you leave with a ton of useless fake money. I didn’t realize a place like this existed anymore.